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Toronto-based Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group Ltd. (CC&L Financial Group) has partnered with two investment veterans to form Vergent Asset Management LLP, an investment manager that will focus on frontier and new emerging markets.

UK-based Vergents’s two managing partners, Ali Al Nasser and Nemer Bechara, have worked together for the last decade and have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and investment experience in frontier and new emerging markets.

Al Nasser, who has 15 years of investment and research experience across frontier markets and has a strong track record managing institutional capital in Vergent’s target markets, leads the investment team.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Ali and Nemer to provide investors with a differentiated, active investment strategy that focuses on a unique asset class that we believe offers growth and diversification benefits to institutional investors,” says Warren Stoddart, CC&L Financial Group co-CEO Warren Stoddart, in a statement.

“We partnered with CC&L Financial Group because its institutional business model, expertise, people and culture put us in the best position to deliver results to our investors,” adds Al Nasser, in a statement.

“Our markets are expected to contribute strongly to global growth and comprise an increasing portion of the world’s equity market capitalization as a result of favourable demographics; improved access to technology; reforms in the areas of education, healthcare, and finance; and increased political stability,” he adds.

Frontier markets include early stage growth countries not classified as major emerging markets due to the nascent state of their economies and capital markets.

Vergent seeks investments in listed companies that possess a unique set of competitive advantages that allow them to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunity available in frontier and new emerging markets, and compound strong returns to their shareholders.